The competition was already underway when I arrived at the National Art Gallery. Individuals from different organisations were at work, most of them engrossed in their drawings. I casually strolled by not wanting to distract them. All sorts of colours of the palette were there - some muted and soft, others were bold and vibrant. Behind the on -going activity, I could sense the spirit of these artists in their art. It is what they know best and it is their outlet for expression .
Among the artists were a couple of the foot and mouth artists. I doubt anyone just walks by without stopping to admire their sheer dexterity to etch and paint . It is a labour of love and patience.
|Finished work by one of the foot and mouth artists|
This event opens a visitor's eyes to a new world of many untapped talents. It is about empowering the skills of this disadvantaged sector of society and creating opportunities for them and enhancing their self esteem. Whatever their disabilities, watching them, it's timely to take the 'dis' out of 'disability'. These individuals win hearts and souls with their innermost expressions through art.
The overall winner gets to represent Malaysia in Seoul in September where an international group will compete there. But surely there are no losers in this competition. There never was even before the start of this competition though judging has to take place. I couldn't stay till the results were announced. But being witness to art which speaks from their hearts, it touches anyone.
Flowers and Passion theme brings to mind a quote I love by Lady Bird Johnson : 'Where flowers bloom, so does hope'. Indeed there is much to hope for. This event focuses on ability and human dignity. Perhaps some will be self-sufficient. We can all help in little ways or more.